Bec had to grow up fast

STATUESQUE and athletic, 16-year-old Bec Sproule, of Goonellabah, is a perfect role model for health and she's hoping to inspire other young people to join her in this year's Relay for Life to raise money for cancer research.

Watching her run effortlessly around the Kadina High School oval, it's hard to believe that when she was just five years old she was critically ill with acute leukaemia.

Bec spent nearly two years of her young life in a hospital in Brisbane undergoing intensive chemotherapy to beat the cancer.

"I didn't really understand my illness at first, but mum and dad were really, really upset. I was taken to hospital and doctors explained a lot to me. And then it kind of hit me when I had to stay there and they started poking needles into me. It was a bit scary, but just one of those things."

Having suffered cancer at such a young age, Bec says it made her grow up fast.

"I met so many great people out of it, though. Through organisations like Camp Quality I've met friends that I'm going to keep for such a long time. It's kind of a good thing," she laughs.

Bec said that while she wouldn't wish anyone to go through the trauma of leukaemia, there were a lot of good outcomes for her.

"Me and mum formed a really, really strong bond because she always stayed in hospital with me," Bec said.

Bec and some of her friends decided to form a team for Lismore's Relay for Life because of various involvements with cancer.

"We just thought it's a really, really good thing to do," she said.

Relay for Life might conjure up visions of much running, but the good news for anyone wanting to take part is that there's not much exertion involved.

"One team member just needs to be walking around the oval at any point and you can swap with your friends; you can walk, you can run, you can crawl. I saw people skipping a few years ago, you just get together and have fun," Bec said.

Lismore's Relay for Life co-ordinator, Anna Fitzalan, from the Cancer Council, said this year's relay was being run on the first weekend in August.

"It's an 18-hour event of celebration, remembrance and fighting back. It's a really wonderful event," she said.

To take part or sponsor, go to www.relay.cancercouncil.com.au


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